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  F4U-1A Corsair Serial Number NZ5274 Code 74
15 Squadron

Pilot  Sergeant William James Thomson, 431108 (MIA / KIA) Clyde, Otago
Crashed  June 20, 1944 at 1:45pm

Aircraft History
Built by Vought. Constructors Number 4985. Delivered to the U. S. Navy (USN) as F4U-1A Corsair bureau number 49738. Disassembled and loaded as cargo aboard USS Breton (CVE-23). On April 19, 1944 departed the United States as part of defense aid to New Zealand.

Wartime History
Assigned to the Royal New Zealand Air Force (RNZAF) as Corsair serial number NZ5274. On May 5, 1944 reassembled by Unit 60 on Espiritu Santo. On May 25, 1944 assigned to 15 Squadron on Guadalcanal.

Mission History
On June 20, 1944 took off from Bougainville piloted by Sergeant William J. Thomson on a mission over Rabaul. Over the target, this Corsair was hit by anti-aircraft fire and crashed onto a plantation near Talili Bay and exploded on impact. When this aircraft failed to return it was officially listed as Missing In Action (MIA).

Thomson was officially declared dead the day of the mission. He is memorialized at the Bourail New Zealand War Cemetery (Bourail War Cemetery) on the Bourail Memorial on panel 8.

Navy Serial Number Search Results - F4U-1A Corsair 49738

"49738 (MSN 4985) to New Zealand as NZ5274"
ADF Serials - NZ Serials NZ274

CWGC - William James Thomson

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Last Updated
January 12, 2019


Tech Info

1 Missing
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